What Collective Bargaining Can Mean for Child Care Providers

The fight for family child care providers to win the right to collectively negotiate a contract with California, that’ll cover our reimbursement rates, benefits, and improvements to the child care industry, has begun. However, we are not the first to attempt this. Family child care providers in 15 other states have successfully come together, taken action and won the right to collectively bargain around rate increases, benefits, and more funding for family child providers. Providers in Massachusetts, Illinois, Connecticut, and Rhode Island realized the only way family child care providers could see positive changes in the industry, for themselves as well as the children they serve, was having providers come together and demand these changes happen through a collective voice — a union.

In states where providers have won collective bargaining rights family child providers now have a union contract that details regional market rate increases, sick days, vacation days, their rights when dealing with their respective state’s subsidized child care agencies and even access to child care development courses through allocated funds for training.

Below is a list of items providers negotiated with their states and won in their union contracts.


2018: 4.26% increase

A training fund brings free college classes and paid educational training

Available for all family child care providers through the state

Providers fought for and won a 12 months eligibility for children on the subsidized child care program! This helps working families have stable care they can depend on and fosters strong relationships between providers and the children they care for because there is consistent and reliable care.

Providers won extensions on mandatory trainings requested by the state licensing office

Rhode Island

  • 2015-2017: 3% rate increase (total), with an additional 2% increase for all providers with child development degrees
  • 2018: 2.5% increase
  • 2019: 2.5% increase
  • 2020: 1.5% increase

Two weeks of vacation

  • 2018: 24 hours
  • 2019: 32 hours
  • 2020: 40 hours

Through their collective voice providers won a Development of Training Fund to support workforce development, higher quality child care facilities, and technological assistance. Some benefits include university credits for Spanish language classes and Chromebooks for all union providers.

Providers won the right to spanish language liaisons at Department of Human Services so we are treated with the respect and dignity we deserve.


  • Rate increases for the last four years
  • Bonuses in the first year of their union contract and an additional increase for those with child development degrees
  • 15% rate increase for those who care for special needs children

A $200,000 training and professional development fund

Providers are a part of the cabinet that oversees decisions surrounding child care and early education in the Department of Education


  • 2016: 3.6% increase
  • 2017: 6% increase
  • 2018: 3.9% increase

A $100,000 fund through their collective bargaining agreement used for CPR classes, grant writing, and administrative trainings

Providers have 40 hours of personal time off that can be used for sick time, vacation, or family matters

2 days of time off per year for professional development

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